Poll: Republicans are More Engaged Heading into the 2014 Midterms

A new poll shows that Republicans are much more enthusiastic about voting in next year’s election than Democrats – which could spell big trouble at the polls.

The Associated Press – GFK poll finds that 51% of Americans want a Republican-controlled Congress while only 37% want a Democratic-controlled one.

The Washington Post says that number should be alarming to Democrats because midterm elections usually attract more engaged voters.

And, it’s not just the AP-GFK poll that shows a disparity of intensity between Democrats and Republicans.  A GW Battleground poll showed that 64 percent of Republicans are “extremely likely” to vote while 57 percent of Democrats said the same. In a CBS News-New York Times poll 81 percent of  Republican registered voters said they would “definitely” vote in November versus 68 percent of Democrats.The problem?

Political enthusiasm is hard to create from out of nowhere. And, typically, the side most passionate about politics is the one motivated by negative emotions. Republicans hate Obamacare and don’t like President Obama much either. (The same was true in 2006 with Democrats and George W. Bush.) There’s no corresponding figure for Democrats to rally their dislike around. And, the positive emotions that drove Obama into office in 2008 have dissipated considerably over these past five years even within the Democratic base.